Auto Express runs an annual Driver’s Power survey in which they ask owners of cars 12 months old or newer how they like their cars. In this “Best Car Manufacturers” survey, they questioned owners how they felt about their cars’ engine, gearbox, ride, handling, running costs and service costs, to name a few. Basically, it’s to find out how actual customers feel about their cars and rank them all up based on the results. In this survey, BMW was the ninth best ranked car manufacturer, far ahead of both Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

The main points of satisfaction among Bimmer owners were their engines and gearboxes. BMW has a very good suite of engine options at the moment, both petrol and diesel. All either provide competitive power or class-leading power, which makes customers very happy. Also, BMW’s consistent use of the ubiquitous eight-speed, ZF-sourced, automatic gearbox has garnered praise as well. While most other auto manufacturers use the ZF-eight, BMW’s calibration of it is the tops.

Bavaria also scored highly in the ride comfort department, scoring higher than all of its premium rivals, save for Jaguar which scored higher. But BMW consistently beat out Audi and Mercedes-Benz in almost all driving metrics, allowing it to place higher then them overall, even higher than Jaguar, its closest rival in this survey.

The only two areas where BMW struggled a bit were styling and running costs. Styling hasn’t been BMW’s strong-suite as of late, with the new 5 Series garnering most of the brand’s criticism. It’s not that BMWs are bad looking cars it’s just that they’re a bit boring. While Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Jaguar continue to belt out impressive and exciting looking cars, most BMWs are sort of “meh”. As far as running costs go, BMW placed a bit low, even for a premium brand. Apparently, owners have been complaining about fuel economy and service bills being a bit too costly. But BMW placed middle of the pack in this area, so it’s not horrid, either. Though, the Bavarian brand did get good marks for reliability, with only 12.4 percent of owners reporting problems.

BMW also received good marks for its infotainment system and technology. Most owners found iDrive to be better than its rival systems, especially its British rivals, such as Jaguar and Land Rover. While interior styling is a bit staid for some, the tech is impressive.

Overall, a ninth place rating here is quite good. The only premium brands to score better were Volvo and Lexus, two very reliable, safe and more affordable brands. Among its more traditional rivals, BMW ranked the most satisfactory among owners. Not too shabby.

[Source: Auto Express]